With a beautiful new 350 million dollar soccer-specific-stadium playing host to Los Angeles FC's inaugural home match for the franchise, the pomp and circumstance created an electric setting on Sunday night in L.A. The Seattle Sounders came in playing from behind the eight ball with Chad Marshall out due to a neck sprain and Roman Torres scratched from the lineup minutes before kickoff.
Despite the injuries, Gustav Svensson and Kim Kee-hee played impressively as a centerback duo and the back four held LAFC off the scoreboard for 92 minutes. However, in the 93rd minute, in added time of the second half, a Laurent Ciman free kick got past Stefan Frei for the match's lone goal, sending LA fans home happy and Sounders supporters left with hearts broken.
The 1-0 loss in Los Angeles marks the third 1-0 loss of the season for the Sounders, in a season that has seen difficult lineup choices in fixture congestion and multiple major injuries. Now 1-4-1, the Sounders must focus on getting healthy and returning home to play Columbus next Saturday at 1 p.m. (Listen on Sports Radio 950 KJR, pre-game at 12:30 p.m.)
Perhaps more important than getting Marshall and Torres back in the back-line will be finding a way to score. With 13 shots and six on goal, Seattle had many great chances to score on Sunday in LA, but never found the back of the net. Alex Roldan, the rookie midfielder from Seattle University, started his third consecutive match and also found multiple chances to break the scoreless draw.
Winger Victor Rodriguez, who didn't appear in the 18 on Sunday, needs to get healthy as well, and may at the end of the day be the solution to the club's offensive issues. Jackson Felts, Pete Fewing, and Wade Webber break down the 1-0 and preview Columbus next week in the postgame show, which you can listen to below.
Watch Head Coach Brian Schmetzer talk about the 1-0 loss below as well as Stefan Frei discussing his missed save to allow LAFC to break through in added time.
Oof. Frei mishandles Ciman's FK and LAFC will win this one late.— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) April 30, 2018
1-0 Final. pic.twitter.com/zJdIrjobbc